Walk On By
January 13, 2014
A few nights ago Alice called and went over her list for the day —what she ate, the contents of her mailbox, when and where she spotted Mr. Fickle, what aides came by her apartment or failed to appear when they should have appeared.
Finally she came to a question she’d been mulling over all day. “Where does weight go when you lose it?”
Fortunately, I had an answer. “Under the bed.”
“Go look,” I said.
“I’m too old to get down there and look. Besides, it would be silly because I haven’t lost any.”
“Then why are we worrying about it?”
“Just in case I do lose some,” she said.
We moved on from this puzzle and were about to hang up a few minutes later when she mentioned that Mika had waved at her when she came down the “runway” into the dining room. “She didn’t come over to our table or anything. She just waved.”
This was progress indeed from the gridlock earlier in the week when Mika stopped speaking to Nadine and Alice because Nadine had suggested she order half portion meals. But now at last things were moving forward. I was about to celebrate when Alice told me that on her trip down the runway at dinner, she had not bothered to look once in Mika’s direction. “I’m still kind of put out with her,” she said.
“But she waved…”
“I don’t care! I don’t have to be looking over there every minute to see what she’s doing or not doing.”
The night before last, Alice called with better news. “I went over and hugged Mika at dinnertime,” she said. “And she smiled at me. So I guess we’re friends again.”
But then yesterday after lunch Alice reported in on the situation once again. “Mika walked right past me,” she said. “She didn’t say hello or smile or anything. I don’t know what to think of her.”
In case you were invested in the delusion that high school is in the past, just be aware that you can look forward to some version of it once again when you get to your own assisted living center.
(Well, maybe more jeans and fewer short skirts.)
“What about weight?” I asked, eager to change the subject. “Did you ever figure out what happens to it?”
“No, but I think you know.”
“There’s the calorie theory,” I said. “You burn them, remember?”
Her tone of voice lifted. “Oh yes, calories. I do remember now. That makes more sense than what you said about under the bed.” She thought for a few seconds and added, “But I don’t know if I believe this about calories either.”
Where do you think weight goes when you lose it? Maybe there’s a better theory we can offer the ever curious Alice.
And let’s hope for peace between Mika, Nadine and Alice. It can’t go on like this. Can it?